Day 36: Asparagus, Feta, and Tomato Salad with a home-made Vinaigrette 


I’m so glad I found this recipe. Not only is it quick and easy, but it’s filling and would make a great side dish.

It makes about 4 side dish servings, or 2-3 main course servings. You may want to make a second batch of vinegrette if you like your salads soggy, but I think the dressing and salad quantities match very well.

This morning I realized I needed to make a quick lunch in under 15 minutes, so I took out all the ingredients and started prepping! I elected not to boil the asparagus due to time constraints, but it was crisp and fresh and worked just as well without boiling. 

I’m not particularly fond of mustard, but I didn’t really notice it in the vinaigrette. 

Overall, just another great lunch recipe that I’d highly recommend! 
Link: http://www.cookingclassy.com/2016/03/asparagus-tomato-feta-salad-balsamic-vinaigrette/

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Day 35:Tuna Stuffed Avocado

This is the PERFECT lunch. 

I never would have considered adding lime juice to tuna salad, but my lord is it good! 


I prepared my avacados for lunch the night before work, wrapping them in Saran Wrap like little Easter eggs. I think the lime juice, coupled with the Saran Wrap, must have prevented browning of the avocado. 

I have a hard time eating avocado, as I really hate the texture; However, this recipe leaves hardly any avocado to be eaten on its own. I love finding healthy recipes that save me from the mundaness of some fruits and veggies, especially when they’re out of season, so this meal is probably one of my favourite options for lunch. 


I would highly recommend this recipe! Make sure you check your avocados are very ripe before attempting it though, as it’s hard to carve out the avocado unless it’s softened. 

I added just a smidgen of mayo (probably about a tablespoon or two) to the tuna, to help moisten it up. That’s just a personal preference though, and it’s probably not needed with the lime juice! 

Here’s the recipe: 

Healthy Tuna Stuffed Avocado

Day 34: Coq au Vin

I’m going to start of by saying that I was not overly pleased with this dish. I’ve had it before, prepared by our wedding caterer, and I did like it very much. I know that something in the way I prepared the Coq au Vin just didn’t work perfectly, but I’m not sure what. 

Funnily enough, I while didn’t enjoy the chicken, but I’m very pleased with the sauce. I let the chicken marinate overnight in the sauce to see if it tasted better the next day. Even thoughJulia Child suggests that Coq au Vin is better the next day, I really didn’t find that to be the case with my finished product. 


Apparently, true Coq au Vin should use a rooster, not a hen. It should also use a red burgundy wine; however, I elected to use pretty cheap Shiraz, because I really don’t want to break the bank on a meal we’ll only eat for 1-2 days.

Full Disclosure: This can be a one dish recipe and is a lot easier if it is! I do not own a Dutch oven, and therefore had to switch between a skillet, glass baking dish, and a large stockpot. Needless to say, I know what I’m asking for come Christmas time. I was told that using a cast iron skillet or dutch oven will help each ingredient’s flavor stand-out among the other flavors. 

If I had a dutch oven, I would not have ended up submerging my chicken in the sauce as much, thus preventing the chicken to become as soggy. I really would have liked to appreciate the crispy skin on the top of the chicken.


I will definitely be attempting this recipe with a dutch oven in the future, but I learned a very important thing today: If you have a cast iron dutch oven that is not enamel coated, the acidity in your Coq au Vin could tamper with the taste. Don’t let your Coq au Vin (or any other acidic dish) to sit in cast iron once it’s done cooking, and ensure your cast iron dutch oven is “well seasoned”, which means that you have essentially baked your oven with vegetable oil on it.

Here’s a link on how to do that: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-season-a-cast-iron-skillet-cleaning-lessons-from-the-kitchn-107614.

When it comes to the ingredients, I had a hard time finding the bacon lardons that are required in the recipe I used. I grabbed the only thing I could find that looked like it would work (salted pork), and turns out that’s exactly what I was supposed to use! Bacon lardons should come from salted pork, not smoked pork, so keep that in mind when scouring the grocery store for this evasive ingredient. You may also want to buy a second package, as salted pork is delectable. 


I think this is just one of those doses that need to be cooked a few times before you master them. However, I think this is probably a good recipe to start from, as the chicken was very, very juicy! 

I think I may retry this recipe, substituting chicken broth for wine. I really just don’t like wine. 


 Happy Trails! 

Here’s a link to the recipe I used, followed by a great blog post on how to perfect your Coq au Vin recipe:

Classic Coq Au Vin

http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/02/how-to-makethe-best-coq-au-vin-chicken-braised-in-red-wine.html

Day 33: Dragonscale Cake

I want you to take a look at yourself in the mirror for a moment. What do you see?

 A nuclear physicist? 

A famous author?

An astronaught? 

A neurosurgeon?

A stay-at-home mom? 

If you answered anything but “fancy cake maker”, I’m going to recommend you put down the spatula on this one. This cake will break you. 

This is how mine turned out:


To put things in prospective, this is what the cake is supposed to look like: 


Now, I should have known better when they described the icing of this cake as a “simple decorating technique”, but I was naïve and innocent to the ways of cake making yesterday morning. Today, I am a changed woman, for I understand that the art of baking cakes is not always as simple as advertised.

To make my cake look presentable, I had to accept the following:

  • I would have to refrigerate my cake and icing multiple times throughout the process of icing my cake, due to warm weather.
  • The colour gels recommended to be used in the icing and cake batter will not get your cake anywhere near the right colour. I had to run to the store to get more regular food colouring, which I didn’t end up using in the end because I couldn’t figure out how to mix the red, green and grey frostings to look how she got them to look.
  • I got my entire kitchen covered in pearl gold dust, flour, and icing sugar.
  • I am a mere human, not a God of Cakes, and it is therefore ok that my cake is not a divine creation. 

Don’t get me wrong, this cake is  delicious. It’s heavy but refreshing, and the icing is really, really good. If you decide to embark on the wicked adventure of baking this cake, take note of these tips:

You can absolutely get the cake batter the right colour if you use liquid food colouring and not the gel that is recommended, it was just too late for me to correct it. 

And, If you buy a second tube of black colour gel, I’m sure you can get your icing the right colour.  


If no one knows what the cake is supposed to look like, then your cake will still look pretty cool. Plus, you’ll have left over gold dust for future creations. Super fun! 

N.b. If you’re looking for the colour gels and pearl gold dust, try the cake section at Michaels. 


Link: http://livforcake.com/2016/04/game-of-thrones-dragonscale-cake.html

Day 32: Shrimp Cocktail 

Ok, so I threw a Game of Thrones themed party for Aaron’s 28th, and realized (last minute) that I had bought a shrimp ring that didn’t come with cocktail sauce. What’s the point of a shrimp ring without cocktail sauce?! 

So I looked up the recipe and was stunned to find out how simple it is to make, and how delicious. One of the perks of making it yourself is that you can control how spicy it is. I used only 2 TSP of horseradish, even though they say to add 3, and it was perfect! 


In case you were wanting to throw a GOT party yourself, here’s a list of stuff I made:

  • Ned’s heads: olives on toothpicks. 
  • Tyrion’s Shr-imp Cocktail
  • Hodor-itos: in case you couldn’t guess, it’s Doritos.
  • Sansa and Chips: salsa and chips. 
  • Cheddard Stark: Actually using cheddar is optional.
  • The Theon Greyjoy Special: Any type of sausage, but I bought smokies.
  • Dragonscale Cake (see Day 33 for instructions on that!)
  • Game of Thrones Cocktails (I’ll put that Day 34)

Enjoy! 

Here’s the recipe below: 

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/shrimp-cocktail-recipe2.html

Day 31: Ground Turkey à la asparagoose

I think it’s time we discuss ground turkey. When I met Aaron, it was all he lived on; however, I had never even heard of such a thing. 

Over time, he managed to convince me that it was, in fact, a substitute for any of the major meat groups. 

In case you aren’t aware that there are things called “meat groups”, I can assure you, there are. Here are some examples: 

  • Pork chops
  • Steak
  • Shrimp, prawns, or any other seafood
  • Turkey breast 

Now, I trust you won’t delve too deep into my logic, as I lost my train of thought in the second paragraph and have just been making stuff up ever since. 

Also, I am aware that the title is most likely abhorrent to the cooking world, but I think we’re safe if no one rats me out. 

Ground freaking turkey

Yes, so as I was saying, Aaron convinced me that ground turkey could be eaten on its own with, let’s say, quinoa and vegetables. How did he manage this? He showed me how easy is is to prepare and how dang tasty it can be (and inexpensive!).


Nope, it doesn’t look appetizing. But add some of your favourite meat seasoning in there and you’ve got yourself a nice little dinner. Once defrosted, the turkey can be cooked in approx. 20 minutes, which is just the right amount of time to pop some asparagus on a baking sheet in the oven. I recommend olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and a dash of lemon juice on asparagus. But, hey, that’s just my opinion. It didn’t come out of a cook book, so I wouldn’t trust it. However, if you do decide to trust it, cook your asparagus at 375 degrees. 


For a little extra flavour, dip your turkey in mustard, balsamic reduction, ketchup, BBQ sauce…the list is infinite. 

Just don’t look at the turkey too long, and maybe don’t serve it to house guests. 

Day 30: Avacado, Black Bean, and Corn Salad

Here’s another great Mexican food side dish! I’m not sure it actually comes from Mexico, but it’s got cumin so that’s all I need. 


Oh ya, the vinegrette is amazing. I hate avacados, but the vinegrette completely overpowers the taste of the avacados which I love! Funnily enough, it’s not even a strong taste. I think avacados just tend to get overpowered easily. I could be wrong; I’ve only ever eaten 3 avocados. 

Once again, this is a pretty healthy recipe. There’s honey in the dressing, but it’s pretty minimal. The recipe also offered vegan alternatives so that you don’t have to use honey! Enjoy.

Link: http://www.averiecooks.com/2015/01/avocado-black-bean-corn-salad-lime-cumin-vinaigrette.html

Day 29: Mango Salsa

I could eat this salsa by the boat-load. I would run to the edge of the earth for this salsa. I wrote 7 of Shakespeare’s love sonnets about this salsa, but graciously let him take the credit. 

I need you to know it’s a struggle to get the mango out. However, also need you to understand the level of deliciousness mangos add to salsa. No salsa should go without mangoes. I have decreed it, so it must be so. 


Honestly, I don’t have much to tell you about the process of making this recipe, because it’s super simple. Just make it, you won’t regret it!

Link: http://cookieandkate.com/2015/fresh-mango-salsa-recipe/

Day 28: Zuchinni Chicken Enchiladas

We’ve been trying to make healthier choices with our 365 recipes, so this recipe seemed like a great one to try. The only unhealthy thing in here is the cheese, and even that isn’t bad in small quantities! 


I must make a disclaimer: I thought I hated Zuchinni before I made this. I was wrong. I was a fool. Zuchinni is a noble vegetable capable of great things…it’s got seeds though so I’m not convinced it’s a veggie. Wouldn’t that make all squashes fruit? I’m so lost, forgive me. 

I used three large chicken breasts to make this recipe, and it made enough food to last the two of us 2 lunches and 2 dinners. With the price of meat so high, this is an incredibly beneficial method of preparing chicken. 

When it comes to pulling apart the cooked chicken breasts, I’m finding that using two forks works best. However, I am looking for suggestions, as it’s such a tedious process to pull it all apart. 


I couldn’t find ancho chile seasoning, so I added extra chile powder. That’s really the only alteration I made to this recipe, and it rocked our socks.


The enchilada sauce is very easy to make, and it tastes great. Not spicy at all! 

Here’s a link to the recipe, I hope you enjoy it!

http://www.cookingclassy.com/2015/06/chicken-enchilada-zucchini-boats/

Day 27: Steak Cooking 101

Ok, folks. Prepare yourselves for the Jaaron (Jenn/Aaron) method of cooking a steak. I give Aaron credit on this one, because he did all the steak flipping this time.

Step Number Uno (That’s Step one for you non-Spanish speakers): Buy a steak. A little bit of fat and bone is not a bad thing. The meat will be tastier. Check the expiry, you know you’re too lazy to cook it the day you go grocery shopping. Don’t waste $25 worth of steak. 

Step Number Two: Cut up some garlic reeeaaaal small (I believe this is called mincing in the food world). Put that garlic in your frying pan or skillet (either will work and I’m not 100% sure they aren’t the same thing). Add some butter and heat up the garlic until it looks cooked. 

Step Number Three: Add the steak. Add Montreal steak spice to both sides of the steak. If you’re from a region of the world without Montreal steak spice, I’m sorry, you’ll have to use salt and pepper. Cool both sides around 2-3 min until they look pretty brown. 

Step Number Four: Take the steaks and throw them in a baking dish. Put them in an oven heated to 350 degrees Celsius. Cool until they’re to your redness preference. 

voila. 

The perfect steak. 

Don’t mess this one up guys, it’s expensive. 
P.s. I didn’t take pictures because we ate it too fast.